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Wednesday, May 31st, 2017 by Portia Mellott
If you are a homeowner like me, you probably have a cracking and settling concrete driveway. Weeds growing between the cracks, kids scratching their knees while trying to play tag, and an eyesore for all that drive by. It's frustrating, but eventually it just becomes part of your life. You unconsciously step a little higher, avert your eyes towards the pretty flowers in the front yard, and ignore the perfection of your neighbor's driveway.
The thought of replacing the concrete driveway... finding a decent contractor who won't rip you off, waking up to the 7 AM shrill of a jackhammer busting out the old concrete, having to park across the street, waiting FOREVER for the concrete to cure... is a nightmare in itself.
But, there are other options! And no, I don't mean replacing it yourself!
Mudjacking is one of these options; it is a familiar solution to many homeowners because it is has been around for hundreds of years. Contractors jack and lift the settling concrete slab, and then they fill the void underneath with "mud." This mixture contains water, soil, and cement.
Although this is the most accessible and inexpensive option, mudjacking has a shorter lifespan and the repair scars will always be visible.
Nearly any contractor can use this mudjacking technique to help raise your concrete slabs; however, numerous problems occur in the process. The mud mixture is heavy, so the injection holes are larger and more noticeable on the concrete's surface. Also, the weight of the mixture creates a burden on the soil, and the slab will eventually re-settle back to its problematic spot.
The second option is polyurethane concrete raising, which is also called PolyLevel. Although it may seem like a newer solution, polyurethane injection has been around for many years. After finding success in commercial applications such as roadways and public parking lots, it was finally released to the public for residential use. It can be used on all concrete slabs to lift them back into place, including but not limited to: patios, porches, sidewalks, slab foundations, pool decks, garages, walkways, and driveways.
PolyLevel is more expensive than mudjacking, but it is significantly less expensive than complete replacement.
PolyLevel is lightweight yet sturdy, which fixes the issues that mudjacking creates. PolyLevel is injected through a small 5/8 inch hole, and the high density foam expands and lifts the slab. Because it is waterproof and lightweight, the PolyLevel will not wash away, and the weight will not compact the soil underneath.
So the solutions for your concrete slab tripping hazards are: complete replacement, mudjacking, or PolyLevel (polyurethane concrete leveling).
Now that it is summertime and you have plenty of options in front of you, it's time to finally fix that settling concrete driveway. Let the kids run freely without the worry of falling! Host that July 4th party and let all your friends and neighbors be envious of your perfectly level driveway! Enjoy the beauty of your entire yard, not just the flowers and grass but also the driveway! I know I will...
Call Cantey today for a free inspection and estimate on all your unlevel concrete slab needs at 1-803-424-8380.
Watch our own PolyLevel concrete lifting and leveling videos here!